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Harrisburg Americans With Disabilities Act Lawyer (ADA)

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects “qualified individuals with a disability” from employment discrimination on the basis of that disability. To be considered “disabled” the Employee must:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • Have a record of such an impairment; or
  • Be regarded as having such an impairment.

To be deemed a “qualified individual with a disability”, an Employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. To help determine what constitutes “essential functions of the job” it is recommended that an Employee, as a start, review a written job description, if one is available, or consult the Union Contract to determine if essential functions are identified. Contact our Harrisburg labor discrimination & ADA lawyers today.

An “impairment” is defined as any physiological disorder or condition or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems:

  • Neurological
  • Cardiovascular
  • Reproductive
  • Musculo-skeletal
  • Respiratory; and
  • Special sense organs

Generally, the impairment must be of a long-term duration. For example, a sprained ankle or a broken arm will not typically be covered.

A “Major Life Activity” includes activities such as seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, learning and working.

It is a common misconception that the ADA requires Employers to give preference to individuals with disabilities. This is not true. The goal is to put people with disabilities on a level playing field with non-disabled people.

There are no specific lists of what constitutes a “Reasonable Accommodation.” Reasonable accommodations are fact specific based on a variety of factors. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:

  • Making existing facilities used by Employees readily accessible to and usable by a disabled individual
  • Restructuring a job
  • Modifying work schedules
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment
  • Providing qualified readers or interpreters
  • Modifying training, exams or other programs so that individuals with disabilities will not be excluded

The law provides that an Employer is not required to provide a Reasonable Accommodation if the Reasonable Accommodation would constitute an “Undue Hardship”. However, it is the Employer’s burden to establish that the Reasonable Accommodation constitutes an Undue Hardship.

If an Employee believes that he or she has been a victim of discrimination on the basis of disability, they should know that they have 180 days from the date of the discrimination to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). Act swiftly and reach out to our Harrisburg labor discrimination and ADA lawyers.

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